February 03, (THEWILL) – The Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has reiterated that Nigerians are critical partners in the fight against security challenges in the country.
A press statement issued by Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, said Gen. Lagbaja asserted while commissioning the Civil-Military Cooperation projects, executed by Major General Emmanuel Udiandeye, the Chief of Defence Intelligence, at Bedia Community in Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State.
According to the CoAS, efforts to surmount current security challenges in the country, require that the Nigerian Army (NA), mobilise civil support in its whole-of-society approach to tackling the menace.
Lagbaja, who noted that this awareness, is a crucial factor in sustaining the idea of the Chief of Army Staff’s Special Intervention Civil-Military Cooperation Projects under the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) line of efforts, added that “these projects are always carefully conceptualised and executed to complement the states in providing top-notch basic amenities and infrastructure for Nigerians.”
He, however, emphasised that the Nigerian Army is not out to compete with any level of government or to give any undue political advantage to its senior officers, but rather, to complement the government and communities’ efforts at enhancing the quality of life of the people.
“Our projects are thus, a way of appreciating the communities from which benefiting senior officers hail, for giving the nation their very best to serve in the NA and to encourage them to continue supporting our operations and other endeavours”, he clarified.
Gen. Lagbaja further revealed that over 200 COAS intervention CIMIC projects, comprising Hospitals, Roads, Boreholes and Schools, have so far been carried out by the Nigerian Army.
He expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Cross River State for their support to the Nigerian Army.
The COAS, who appreciated President BolaTinubu for the confidence in the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria, pledged the unalloyed loyalty of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the President and Constitution of the Federal Republic.
The Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Dr Peter Odeh, who represented the Governor at the event, expressed appreciation to the COAS for the execution of the projects and enjoined the people of the Bedia community to effectively utilise and maintain the facilities.
The project executor, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Udiandeye, listed the projects commissioned to include, the Bedia Commercial Secondary School, Memorial Assembly Hall, named after the Late Major UJ Udiandeye, an Administrative Block and a new Science Building, named after Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja.
Others are the renovated Computer-Based Test Block for WAEC and JAMB examinations, as well as renovated Boreholes and Solar lights.
He disclosed that the intervention projects, which were carefully selected after consultations with leaders of the community, will give a new lease of life to the community.
One of the leaders of the community, Dr Jude Udiandeye, who described the project executor as an illustrious son of Bedia, remarked that the commission marks a historic landmark in the annals of Bedia’s history.
He commended the Nigerian Army for promoting educational and infrastructural development in Bedia.
A major attraction at the event was a Medical Outreach, organised to provide free medical consultation and treatment to several members of the community.
The event was witnessed by Royal fathers, Principal Staff Officers from the Defence and Army Headquarters, the General Officer, Commanding 82 Division, the Commander Corps of Artillery and several other dignitaries from all works of life.